Skip to main content

Reply to this post | Go Back
View Post [edit]

Poster: LAJ Date: Mar 15, 2006 6:33pm
Forum: netlabels Subject: AMBIENT WASTELAND: Soundtrack for Dark Times

“April is the cruelest month, breeding | Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing | Memory and desire, stirring | Dull roots with spring rain.” [T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land (1922)]

Years ago I had to read T.S. Eliot’s modernist poem The Waste Land for a literature class, and I even seem to recall having to write an essay about some aspect of it. It was and still is difficult reading with references to ancient sources, sudden changes in time, place, and speaker, and obscure symbols and allusions. In spite of these barriers the dark themes of decadence, isolation, loneliness, loss, death, detachment, … are not difficult to pick up on with lines like “I will show you fear in a handful of dust”; “Unreal city, | Under the brown fog of a winter dawn, | A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many. | I had not thought death had undone so many.”; “‘Speak to me. Why do you never speak? Speak.“; and “I think we are in rats’ alley | Where dead men lost their bones.” My instructor’s attempts to have us dissect the poem and analyze it with microscopic detail did more to get in the way of understanding the poem than help.

Over the years my copy of the poem was stored away in a box with, ironically, its pages turning yellow and becoming brittle and forgotten about until a few days ago when Thomas Park used a phrase from then ending of it in the title of his recent Dark Winter release These Fragments [“These fragments I have shored against my ruins.”]. This motivated me to re-read the poem and to create a soundtrack of netaudio music that conveyed the same themes as those of the poem. I think that I now appreciate the poem even better, and the dark sounds of the music have taken on an even deeper meaning.

If you haven’t read this now seemingly forgotten 433-line classic, there’s an on-line version available here: . You don’t have to be a scholar to get the poem’s message. Mary Karr wrote that , the meaning of The Waste Land “is inexorably entwined with the music, the variety of noises and how they jam together, often sans transition to create a mood” and that “For music is the message. What you need to know is interwoven with the poem’s melodies and dissonances.”

PLAYLIST [M3U attachment follows playlist]:

1. I.V.Lab - Last Journey Before The Storm [Far From Showbiz] || Wasteland

2. Mystified - These Fragments [Dark Winter] || These Fragments

3. Quenok (Rouven Huelkenberg)- Deja EP [Rest] || Deja04

4. Thomas Jaldemark - Nuclear Weapons Still Out Of Sight [Realaudio] || Misery of a Destroyed Country

5. Mika Björklund - Gunkanjima [Webbed Hand] || City of Dust

6. Thomas Jaldemark - Nuclear Weapons Still Out Of Sight [Realaudio] || Big Money for the Industry

7. 3x3is9 - Future City of Data and Dust [Microsound Project - City of the Future]

8. Ellende - Mini_Madness [Fukkgod]

9. Phoenelai - Ghim EP || Ghim

10. Full Load of King - FLOP [Comfort Stand] || Ruins

11. rngmnn - Off the Bridge [] Weather - Dependent State of Mind

12. Adaptcore - Sunset After Wind [Dark Winter] || End of the Iron Age

13. Zen Savauge - Contrast [Subsource] || Black Space

14. Full Load of King - FLOP [Comfort Stand] || Obituary Horoscope Part 5

15. Martin Dot - Metro [Rain] || Impression Four

16. Mystery Hearsay - Flesh Dwarf [Zeromoon] || InNear

17. Roman Olegov - After Calamity [Pharmacom] || Deep Ocean of Dust

18. Seetyca - Im Traum [Dark Winter] || Der See Laufft

19. V/A - Bio>logic [Infinite Sector] || Ellende - Dream Butcher Dream

20. Samsa - Mechanically Separated [Dark Winter] || Chaotic Space

21. V/A - Liquid Times [Realaudio] || Thomas Jaldemark - The End of Time

22. Dotkraz vs Idle Sunder vs Casual Coincidence - Rust [Entity] || Rusted Faith

23. V/A - Bias [Luumu] || Rihmastro - Kolo

24. d'incise - Variations sur Dublin [Audioactiviste] || De Frenesie Imobliere

25. Christian Toonk - Unison [Conv] || Theta

26. C.P. McDill (Djinnestan) - Selling the Wind [Webbed Hand] || Salamander’s Wool

27. Mika Björklund - Risen [Webbed Hand] || Harmaa Hiljaisuus

This post was modified by LAJ on 2006-03-16 02:33:44

Attachment: WASTELAND.M3U

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: mystified Date: Mar 15, 2006 11:59pm
Forum: netlabels Subject: Re: AMBIENT WASTELAND: Soundtrack for Dark Times

An excellent excercise for a great poem! Thanks Larry!